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J Biol Chem. 1979 Sep 10;254(17):8340-2.

Resonance Raman scattering from uteroferrin, the purple glycoprotein of the porcine uterus.


Uteroferrin, a purple-colored, iron-containing glycoprotein, purified from the uterine fluid of progesterone-stimulated pigs, owes its natural purple color to a broad absorption band centered at 545 nm. Laser excitation within the visible absorption band of uteroferrin results in an intense resonance Raman spectrum which bears a striking resemblance to that reported for Fe(III)-transferrin, the iron transport protein of serum. Excitation profiles for the four resonance-enhanced bands of uteroferrin were obtained from 4579 A to 6741 A, using lines from Ar+ and Kr+ lasers. Each of the profiles have maxima near 545 nm. The spectral similarities of uteroferrin and Fe(III)-transferrin lead to the belief that the Fe(III) binding sites of the two proteins must be, at least in some respects, quite similar. In particular, it is concluded that, as in Fe(III)-transferrin, the metal binding site of uteroferrin contains a tyrosine ligand and that the visible absorption spectrum of uteroferrin results from a phenolate to Fe(III) charge transfer.

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